Harnessing the Power of Community

We live in a pivotal time. There is a new conversation emerging, borne out of necessity, out of the grit and hard work of generations of community leaders and activists. There is no better moment to lead at The San Francisco Foundation.

Our region has always been a center of innovation that has rippled out across the nation. We have risen to the challenge before and won major victories of social and economic change.

I believe that we can once again join together to make sure that everyone, regardless of race, class, or where they live, has a fair shot at a good life and opportunities to live to their full potential. This reality is in our reach. This is our moment to seize it.

That’s why I am excited to share with you the vision for our future, as we dissolve silos, work beyond city and county lines, fuel over 1,600 nonprofits, and leverage partnerships that are bigger and bolder than ever to achieve equity in our region.

It is with your generosity and dedication that we are able to take on these challenges. You fuel us in mind, in spirit and in our real ability to take on complex issues with deep and meaningful investments.

I invite you to continue to partner with us in our growing efforts to harness the power of community and expand opportunity in our region.

In gratitude,

Fred Blackwell, CEO
The San Francisco Foundation

Activating a Community

The Bay Area is known for its ingenuity. Our human capital is the engine of historic social movements and world-class innovation.

Bringing together the region’s growing community of changemakers unlocks our collective knowledge and resources. It activates partners to move in step toward common goals and shared success. Our role as a trusted convener means that we bring together this powerful array of perspectives, expertise and know-how to take action on the issues that matter most.

See the ways we all come together to form a dynamic Bay Area community:

Smiling people

A Growing Community

Everyone can make a meaningful contribution to the vitality of the region. Last year we saw the dedication of a growing community of partners, new and longstanding, stepping up to make a difference.

We welcomed 46 new partners into our community of donors. Together with the full power of the 840-member strong TSFF donor community we linked resources to work on the ground, supporting a network of 1700 Bay Area nonprofits.

106 members of the newly launched Bay Area Promise Society committed more than $35M in legacy intentions to TSFF to ensure the shared opportunity and prosperity of the region for generations to come.

Professional Advisors are key partners in supporting longtime and new philanthropists. Our new Professional Advisor Committee partners with 16 leading professional advisors to guide the Foundation’s planned giving and donor relations work.

people working and collaborating

A Hub for Action

The Foundation is a community connector, bringing together a vast network of partners to inform and inspire the work going on across the region. We lift up the latest research and trends to identify best practices and create better models for change in the hard work we all take on together.

This year we took part in 87 briefings and panels to advance action on the pressing issues of the day. From learning the latest research on child exposure to trauma, to rallying with partners for inclusion of Bay Area immigrants – when we come together we can push for greater opportunity across the Bay Area.

People in business suits

Growing Networks

As a regional hub, we continue to grow and strengthen our networks on the ground and in the dynamic digital sphere. This year we have deepened our relationships with Full Circle Fund, the Professional Advisors Council, our longstanding peer and affinity groups, and as always, have the expert guidance of the Foundation's Trustees and committees of the Board.

Extending these networks into the digital sphere is critical. Our strong online network means that we can build momentum and amplify real-world work among our digital community. This year we gained 1060 new members in our Twitter community, and are interacting with 789 new friends on Facebook.


Fueling Impact in 2014

We commit our resources, relationships and expertise to make a difference in the Bay Area today, and to sustain that impact for the future. With our own grantmaking, and the generosity of our community of donors, we invest in leaders and organizations that make a difference in the lives of Bay Area families.

$67.4M invested in the Bay Area by TSFF and our donor community.

1695 Bay Area nonprofits funded.

17.1% return on investments allows us to address more critical needs in the Bay Area. Learn more about our investments.

$730K In loans to leverage capital for Bay Area jobs and housing.

Mapping the Power of Resources

The power of investing in the Bay Area is amplified when we do it together. We invite you to explore the map below and see the resources the Foundation and our generous donors and partners have put into the Bay Area.

Using the Subject Areas and Filters you can focus in on the topics that matter most to you.

Advancing Policy that Changes Lives

What we learn on the ground must be brought to scale. Working with grantees, dedicated donors, and partners across sectors, we come to the table to improve the systems that touch people’s lives every day.

Together we have influenced and advanced policies that give families in every neighborhood the opportunity to build healthy, stable and fulfilled lives.

Big Wins for Bay Area Immigrants

Immigration reform rally

“It took persistence and an unwavering belief in community power to get to this point. We believe that funding grassroots organizations that prioritize community leadership will lead to long-term, sustainable policy change. We are proud to have stood by our many grantees who won this year’s game-changing victories.”

Lifting Up the Voice of Communities

Uplifting policy rally

“When we talk about climate change and environmental progress, we want to make sure that the communities that are impacted the most are at the decision-making table.”

This year wins for the environment were wins for the community. Measures passed that made sure that people that are often overlooked and left out of discussions are at the table giving input on the decisions that affect their communities and their daily lives.

A Look Forward:
Building Systems of Opportunity

Woman speaking into a microphone at a policy event

It’s our time to push for different choices, to band together for parents who struggle to make ends meet, so that they can spend time with their kids and see them grow up healthy and with the tools they need to reach their dreams.

We recognize that opportunity is not yet equal across different racial and ethnic groups, with some communities facing steep obstacles. We will continue to build on work with our partners to remove those barriers -- unlocking access to career ladder jobs and affordable homes, and eliminating the predictive power of race and class on the lives of children, to create opportunity for people and families across the region.

Opportunity Unleashed

More than ever people across the Bay Area are looking for new ways to plug in, to connect with one another, and make a real difference.

We take on this work by being deeply rooted in the community, fueling effective organizations and taking top-notch policy solutions to scale. There is room for everyone at the table and a role that each of us can play to create opportunity for people and families across the region.

Join the momentum, let’s work together to make the Bay Area a place where everyone can thrive.

Read the Stories

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Smiling boy

New Homes to Help Families Break the Cycle of Poverty

“It takes a village,” was a phrase echoed by many today. In this case, the village is the whole city and all layers of government, as well as business, philanthropy, and the community.

It takes the long term commitment and deep systemic change to move families from a daily reality of poverty, isolation and violence, to a place where they are part of San Francisco’s economic prosperity. We were there to celebrate that commitment and to keep it going — because today’s opening was only phase one.

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Community members

A Community Fully Connected

“When I put my pen on the paper to mark my choice, I felt very proud to be there and to be able to vote,” said Jin Lan Kuang, a new citizen and voter. “Now that I have voted I feel included and honored. Now it isn’t only a piece of paper that says I’m a citizen. I feel I belong.”

Jin Lan and her husband, both in their seventies, arrived in San Francisco from the Chinese province of Guangdong five years ago. Unable to speak the language, they had to rely on their daughter for financial support, and were growing worried about that burden.

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Constructing the New Career Pathway for Bay Area Workers

“We are in a new day, embracing multiple career paths, and helping people get on any one of these paths to a career-ladder job. New approaches to investments in workforce and post-secondary career technical education are needed, and we’re at a landmark moment.”

If we are to reach our goal of eliminating poverty and achieving economic mobility for working families, investments in adult education must be leveraged. California EDGE Coalition is doing just that by aligning policies and investments to meet the real needs of Bay Area residents striving to provide a good life for their families.

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A Legacy of Bold Leadership

“Art can change consciousness, which needs to happen for any social policy to be enforced, take effect, be supported. For us, artists play that role in society; we are trying to elevate the role of the artist as someone who has the potentiality to really change how the world works.”

The Community Leadership Awards are made in the spirit of donors who wanted to partner beyond the span of their own lives to ensure that future generations of community leaders were recognized for their bold efforts. The 2014 awardees are addressing some of the most pressing issues in our region: ensuring that no one is left on the brink by creating pathways to financial security and academic achievement, and by preserving cultural programs and supporting artists and in the Bay Area.

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Celebrating 20 Years of Faith Organizing

“We first began feeding the hungry in the park, sandwiches and soup. It was a mom and pop shop, to grow into an institution in the city of Richmond to serving the poor and speaking for justice.”

In response to the call from the interfaith community in the Bay Area, the FAITHS Program was founded in 1993 on the premise that congregations and other faith-based organizations are among philanthropy’s strongest partners in the effort to build strong, healthy, and equitable communities. The Faith-based community organized, and what was once a seedling initiative, is now a strongly rooted interfaith network of more than 600 congregations that reach thousands in the Bay Area.

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Harnessing the power of our bold Bay Area community.